Kiski Area plans to drop quarantines and contact tracing

With coronavirus cases having dropped dramatically since September, the Kiski Area School Board is eager to emerge from the two-year pandemic crisis.

The school board has scheduled a vote for Feb. 28 to consider ending contact tracing and quarantines.

Mask-wearing on buses, however, may need to continue for a little longer.

In September, there were up to 150 students in the district under quarantine, with 50 infections reported.

There were between 10 and 19 quarantines this week as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Deputy Superintendent Jason Lohr. There were only four active cases in the entire school district.

“It doesn’t make sense to contact the trace anymore,” director Michelle Schmidt said. “I personally think we need to start educating our children again.”

Schmidt added that those who are not feeling well should stay home, as they would for any other illness, such as the flu.

Attorney Ronald Repak noted that school bus regulations are beyond the board’s control. He said they fall under the mask-wearing mandate on public transportation issued by the Transportation Security Administration. Repack said the federal mandate could last until mid-March.

School board members have indicated that a vote on bus masking could hinge on when the term ends.

Repak said that at that time the bus masking mandate would be lifted without any school district voting on it.

George Guido is a contributing writer for Tribune-Review.

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